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ADV Films presents
Princess Nine #5: Bases Loaded! (1998)

"Don't you ever act like a loser again if you want to be my rival."
- Izumi Himuro (Mami Kingetsu)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: October 17, 2002

Stars: Miki Nagasawa, Mami Kingetsu, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Sumi Shimamoto, Hilary Haag, Monica Rial, Vic Mignogna, Kelly Manison
Other Stars: Taketo Koyasu, Tetsuya Iwanaga, Yasutsugu Ishii, Akiko Yajima, Kyouko Hikami, Naomi Nagasawa, Ayako Kawasumi, Rumi Kasahara, Kokoro Shindou, Mayumi Iizuka, Taeko Kawada, Chris Patton, Christine M. Auten, Andy McAvin, Tiffany Grant, Shelly Calene-Black, Cynthia Martinez, Kira, Kelly Cousins, Jennifer K. Earhart
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+)
Run Time: 01h:40m:00
Release Date: July 30, 2002
UPC: 702727007323
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A B+B+A- C-

DVD Review

"I don't understand boys at all" - Ryo Hayakawa

Bases are loaded, and we're heading into the home stretch. Disc five of Princess Nine brings another four episodes that set up the series conclusion on the next disc.

The adventure that began with the revelation about Ryo's father's past and its fallout is first on the agenda for resolution. With Ryo recovering after her heroic efforts, she and the team still face fierce opposition from the parent's association, who want them disbanded. With her father set to make the motion at their next meeting, Kanako makes a final plea for the team's survival, even if it means she can't be part of it, and with her birthday coming up, it is the only gift she wants. When the two children Ryo rescued show up at the hospital and are photographed by a reporter, the national exposure puts the opposition forces in a tough position.

With the team's future settled, it is time to knuckle down and prepare for the ultimate challenge with a retreat to training camp, but things get off to a rocky start as the question of relationships begins to undermine several of the characters. When Izumi discovers Ryo has Hiroki Takasugi's good luck pendant, it fires her jealousy and distracts her from her game. Meanwhile Ryo is confused about the boy's intentions after Izumi confronts her with distressing news. While Seishiro is trying to work up the nerve to ask Ryo to pose for a sketch, Hikaru craftily makes her play for Seishiro. Even the coach is in on the action, surprising everyone with his instant sobriety after inquiring about what kind of man Ryo's mother would be interested in.

The series moves along at a brisk pace, with plenty of tension still in the air. The characters are showing some growth and some depth now, allowing their personalities to show through with their reactions to various events that occur. From Hikaru's scheming to Izumi's fiercely competitive nature, to Yuki's reliance on her doll, Fifi, it presents a good diversity, which makes for interesting viewing. Princess Nine continues to be highly involving and entertaining, with plenty of humor and action along the way. With the final episode not that far off, it will be interesting to see how everything gets tied together in the end.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality remains consistent with the rest of the series, with strong colors, solid black levels and good detail. There is still some minor rainbowing, ringing on outlines, and aliasing is again moderate. A nice looking disc.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio remains serviceable, with a predominantly center-focused presentation. Japanese and English tracks are comparable in terms of quality, with only moderate use of directionality. Dialogue is clear with no signs of distortion, and the score works well to heighten the drama.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Nadia, Sailor Moon, Excel Saga, Soul Hunter, Sakura Wars 2, Dragon Half
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing credits
  2. Japanese VHS cover art
Extras Review: Extras are thinning as we enter the last disc, with only clean opening and closing credits, a gallery with the six original Japanese VHS covers, and an assortment of preview trailers including Nadia, Sailor Moon, Excel Saga, Soul Hunter, Sakura Wars 2 and Dragon Half.

The disc has a "play all" feature, or the individual episodes can be accessed. While not available from the menu, each episode has 5 internal chapter stops at the expected locations.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Disc five resolves some of the back story that has been brewing over the past couple of discs, and puts the play in motion for the final episodes in the series. New conflicts and rivalries are brought to light, along with new challenges. The character development has livened up many of the players, as the chemistry between the team gets some added dimension. This is still a very enjoyable ride, with the end being both highly anticipated, yet tempered by a reluctance to let the series go.


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